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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Last month we rolled in the kegs, grabbed a few slices of pizza and learned a lot from each other as 5 startups shared their product with a room packed full of great people in the Atlanta Startup Community.

This Tuesday (10/30) we’re doing it again. Join the Atlanta Startup Community in its second Atlanta Startup Village (details here). Like last month, we have a great line up of companies presenting. Without further ado:

We&Co is a place for people who provide great service. Create an online, digital resume. Find jobs. And be recognized for a job well done.

Foundry Coffee makes coffee equipment that empowers end-users with their brewing data to help perfect their craft.

TableNow is bringing e-commerce to fine dining, curating dining experiences at acclaimed restaurants available for pre-purchase through one central marketplace.

Hypepotamus connects Atlanta Start-up resources through awareness, collaboration and education.

Badgy is like “SEO for Social”, providing social achievements for brand marketing

Similar to last month, we’ll have a few pony kegs thanks to Joe Gallagher of Foundry Coffee and some pizza thanks to the good folks and accountants at Cherry, Bekaert & Holland. The demos start at 7:30 p.m. but the pizza arrives at 7:00 p.m. See many of you there!

Detail Reminders:

Time: Tuesday, October 30th at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Hypepotamus (Bottom floor the Biltmore Hotel)
Who: Anybody who wants to learn, be constructive, positive, and helpful.

We’ll be playing a few games of werewolf afterwards.

See you there!

Last week’s big Atlanta tech news was the acquisition of marketing automation software company, Pardot by ExactTarget for $95.5 mm. This isn’t just another acquisition in the tech world, it’s much more. The difference resides in the people involved, the cultural shift taking place in our city, and the ripple effects from such an event.

Pardot was founded by two Duke graduates, David Cummings and Adam Blitzer, back in 2007. The bootstrapped revenue machine was built with a lean and agile approach. Add to the mix a reoccurring revenue-model and a tight sales and marketing process, before they had time to look up, Pardot worked it’s way into the the Big 3 of marketing automation software giants.

The Young Pioneers

Fortunately for our city, there isn’t a more passionate person who could have come across a large exit. David Cummings has been writing about the Atlanta Startup Community for years. He’s navigated our city’s biggest weaknesses and learned how to leverage our greatest strengths.

Blitzer knows how to operationally build something from scratch into a multi-million dollar behemoth. In his constant state of humility, Blitzer will out execute the competition as consistently as JJ Redick from the line.

Even during Pardot’s rise, Cummings was able to help invest and/or co-found four other companies: Rigor, SalesLoft, Spectate, Clickscape and keep Hannon Hill steadily growing. Although chilling yacht-style in the Caribbean is probably in David’s near future, his drive and ambition are deeper than just a successful purchase of a software company i.e. he’d likely get bored after the 2nd week on the yacht. Who knows what David’s next plans entail, but if his passions indicate his next move, he’ll be even more involved in the Atlanta Startup Community.

Atlanta’s Cultural Shift

Pardot’s $100 mm acquisition is the beginning of a cultural shift in Atlanta. Cummings and Blitzer have made technology relevant in Atlanta again. Currently, our city’s money is baked in with real-estate deals, big banks, and insurance companies. With Pardot’s acquisition, Blitzer and Cummings might as well have taken an ad out in my favorite periodical growing up, The Buckhead Reporter, and addressed it to every MBA/Bain Associate/Investment Banker/Financial Planner and written, “This tech stuff can be done. We did it. The talent is here. Heck, we even bootstrapped this bad boy through a damn recession!”

Let’s not forget they built Pardot into the “Best Place to Work in Atlanta” ranked by AJC. While the investment banker analyst out of college is likely pounding through 100-hour work weeks and spread-sheet jockeying discounted cash flows projections, the average Pardot worker is getting daily massages, tele-commuting from work twice a week, enjoying free breakfasts every morning, and that’s just the beginning.

Now, as students graduate from Georgia Tech, Emory, UGA, or GSU, they’ll consider building a technology business. Why? Because it’s been done. The Atlanta startup blueprint is alive and can easily be traced (hint: David writes every night how to do it). The question has changed for all uss: it’s not “if” but “when.”

The Atlanta startup dream is no more, it’s a reality.

The two Duke classmates, who started the company 5 years ago, are more than keeping up with the Joneses and hopefully in the years to come, this story can written again and again about the Atlanta Startup Community.

The Ripple Effect

We’re a small community in the South — a tight-knit group. Years ago, Atlanta startup writer, Russell Jurney, wrote a post for TechDrawl on the cultivation of Atlanta’s security cluster. Take a look below at the image of Atlanta’s Security Cluster; many more can be added to today including Social Fortress and Pindrop Security. Five or ten years from now, you’ll be able to draw one very similar with the acquisition of Pardot at the center.

These companies were all connected and started with the help and success of others: this is the beauty of a startup community. As more startups succeed, so will others – it’s not a zero-sum game. Talent will be drawn into the community, more products will be created, investors will see the potential returns, large corporations will start paying attention, use us, and acquire us. Who’s to say it’s impossible, just look at last week’s news.

Atlanta Security Cluster

The Atlanta Security Cluster

Maybe it’s the optimism required in an entrepreneur, maybe it’s because success has never seemed closer in the Atlanta Startup Community, or maybe it’s because the Falcons are 6-0, but whatever the reason, now is the time to enter the Atlanta Startup Community. It’s small enough where your idea, product, and startup will be heard, yet robust enough where one can bootstrap a company into a significant exit. People are here to help. Technology is cool again. If you don’t think so, I’ll give you 95.5 million reasons why in another post. Pardot’s acquisition is a big deal and it’s importance will only become clearer with time.

The IdeaMensch team is on their 48-state road trip touring the nation, uncovering stories of how folks are bringing their ideas to life. We originally met the IdeaMensch team in Boulder, Colorado as a packed room of entrepreneurs, activists, and overall good people listened to David Cohen and others share their stories. After the event, we wanted to make sure Atlanta was on their roadmap.

In a city battling a steady flow of empty networking events, rest assured that Wednesday night’s IdeaMensch will be worth the time and money ($10).

Why? Because this is a value-add event. The format fosters education, questions, and a dialogue among entrepreneurs. The quickest wit and deepest insight win at IdeaMensch, not the quickest draw of the business card.

It’ll be held over on the Westside at StrongBox West, starting at 6:00 p.m. So get ready to brown bag a PBR tallboy and signup here.

The Speakers: (copy and pasted right form the IdeaMensch Atlanta page except for Erin’s. I included a link to a badass video she’s working on)

Erin Levin is an award-winning humanitarian journalist and filmmaker. Her production and outreach experience ranges from ABC and CNN to the Peace Corps and non-profits around the world. She’s also working on a powerful video right now: watch it here. 

Kyle Porter is the Founder of SalesLoft, a company providing sales intelligence software which enables sales reps to close more deals and speed up their sales cycles.

Gundeep Hora is the Founder of Digify Media, a mobile-only media company responsible for apps such as TrendOY!, which helps people save time with instant news alerts in various content verticals.

Steve Youngblood is the Co-Foudner of Salestrakr, an innovative SaaS customer relationship management (CRM) application.

On a perfect fall day in Atlanta, most of the city is setting up their tailgates with TVs tuned to College GameDay or savoring the food at Taste of Atlanta, our city’s 3 day food festival showcasing Atlanta’s finest restaurants. Yet, less than a touchdown pass away from Taste of Atlanta, our generation’s most innovative and dedicated engineers are tackling the world’s problem.

Coffee, Krispy Kreme donuts, and Mountain Dew fuel the hackers in a Georgia Tech Hack-a-thon — a competition put on by the Tech Entrepreneur Society. Students, entrepreneurs, and talented developers have dedicated their Friday and Saturday to build something great. Something they can showcase to each other and four judges later this evening.

Teams huddle around tables in the newest co-working space in the city, Hypepotamus, and we stopped by to see what they’re working on. Below are a few of the teams:

Helping Hand: A community organizing management software, Helping Hand helps streamline and manage the workflow required to create a community organized event.

Spawned by Kevin Fay, the idea hopes to make community organizing easy and more manageable for everyone from non-profits to neighborhood organizations. “A lot of people want to help but don’t know how to help. Helping Hand helps community organizations let people know: ‘hey I need help now, here’s how you can do.'” Fay believes the flashmob movement that’s swept the nation in the past few years can easily be applied to community organizations.

Team:  @iamkevinfay | @parkper | @TheSharocko | @bisham3

atlanta startup community

The Helping Hand team takes a break from coding for some sandwiches and smiles.

Intentionability: An app that helps you stay focused on your most important goals of the day by notifying you on predefined action-items set by the user.

Team member, Jared Malen, described the problem best: “my day is driven by my inbox. In reality I should be focused on the top 3 to 5 most important actions for the day. Intentionability keeps you focused on those tasks so you can get the most out of your day and time.”

Team:  @jfals82 | @TimRMartinJR | @samelawrence | @wnadeau

Atlanta Startup Community

The Intentionability team codes away.

The hack-a-thon ends this evening as all the teams present to the judges what they’ve built in the last 36 hours.

As the city’s greatest innovators perfect their craft, they’re also seeking to solve problems with the help of each other. It’s no secret that the lifeblood of the Atlanta Startup Community is fueled by the engineers of our city. The big question is how do we add more fuel to fire?

Atlanta Startup Community

The Georgia Tech Hack-a-thon.

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